Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post

Poster: 2muchtv Date: Aug 2, 2004 9:36am
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Why use labels? A historical film, preserved in the archives, is simply a tiny window into the world at the time the film was made. It's importance lies as much in what was behind the camera as in what was in front of the lens. The film in question is, in my opinion, profoundly historically significant because of what it says about how people felt about sex, women and movies at the time it was made. Several points to consider in the interest of scholarly discussion include:

The idealized image of feminine beauty at the time, as compared to that ideal in different eras. What attributes of a woman are considered by society to be attractive change radically from year to year, and from decade to decade. This film provides and interesting review of the ideal of that era.

The concept of volition as it relates to a woman, her relationship to her own body, and what constitutes modesty. In this film, the woman is a passive receiver of external action - the waves disrobe her, she does not (at least initially) disrobe herself. This is extremely significant to a student of women’s studies and the era of feminine mystique (the approximate time this film was made).

The concept of what constituted risqué entertainment at the time. Compare the scenes in this film to a heavy metal music video (accessible to children of all ages, by the way, on MTV and other venues), to the love scenes in a current day time dramatic serial (“soap opera”) or to contemporary pornographic film.

The degree to which content was expected to carry production values (or the lack there of). Note that in the film in question, the simple act of a supposedly inadvertent exposure of the female breast was expected to carry the film, and the audience had little of no expectation of any additional entertainment value for the price of attending the film.

I would be very interested to hear others’ observations in these, or similar, areas of study.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ridetheory Date: Aug 2, 2004 3:35pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Okay, I'm back from the movie. The Stepford Wives, which kind of, sort of fits in with this discussion of idealized women. Also, Prelinger Archive fans will doubtless recognize many of the film clips used in the title sequence...

The concept of volition as it relates to a woman, her relationship to her own body, and what constitutes modesty. In this film, the woman is a passive receiver of external action - the waves disrobe her, she does not (at least initially) disrobe herself. This is extremely significant to a student of women’s studies and the era of feminine mystique (the approximate time this film was made).

The disrobing happens over and over, and she has to pretend to be surprised by it multiple times. While her smile appears genuine, the repetition struck me as both artless and a bit creepy. I liked the woman in front of the camera, and disliked the man behind it. (Could have been a woman, but I doubt it.)

Reply to this post
Reply

Poster: 2muchtv Date: Aug 2, 2004 4:48pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Volition

[Quote]...the repetition struck me as both artless and a bit creepy...[Quote]

One of the most fascinating aspects of the film, in my opinion. Today, we find the scene to be droll in the extreme, yet at the time the film maker felt it was the best way to present the subject. Was it because of the fragile nature of the male psyche of the time? The sense that a woman had to be powerless to be attractive? Did the film maker fear that if the woman removed her top herself the audience would become fearful of the woman character exerting control over her own state of dress? Would the film had been less titillating to it's intended audience?

To me, the movie is a fascinating insight into the tensions that existed at the time between man, woman, society and power, and a great addition to he archives.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ridetheory Date: Aug 3, 2004 2:08am
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Volition

A good filmmaker would have taken multiple shots of the bikini top coming off, and picked the best one. A fetishist just wants to see it happen again and again. Hence the artlessness and the skin-crawling factor.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ridetheory Date: Aug 2, 2004 4:12pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Good points all, and I'll reply at length later -- I'm off to the theater to see a real movie. The kind with sprocket holes and stuff.

This post was modified by ridetheory on 2004-08-02 23:12:06

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Marysz Date: Aug 2, 2004 11:17am
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

As a parent, I can see why people might want to restrict access to some of the racier films in the Archive, but what kid today wants to watch anything in black and white? What happens when we're not not around any more to appreciate all these old films, smutty or not? Then they really will be orphan films.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cashel Date: Aug 2, 2004 12:56pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Thank you TO MARYSZ

MARY an excellent post. I have NOT objected to the old archive films,as they are valuable in giving an insight into the minds of people past (in this case,it is probably a minority ). revision (heading)

This post was modified by cashel on 2004-08-02 19:56:43

Reply to this post
Reply

Poster: 2muchtv Date: Aug 2, 2004 1:45pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Value

Perhaps by reflecting on the films of the past, whatever their content, we can find our way to becoming a more constructive society, and to let go of the kinds of personal shortcomings and societal incongruencies that sometimes lead to the pursuit of the kinds of entertainment that might not be in the best interest of a sustainable, equitable society where all people are treated with respect and kindness. What do you think?

This post was modified by 2muchtv on 2004-08-02 20:38:51

This post was modified by 2muchtv on 2004-08-02 20:45:06

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: ridetheory Date: Aug 2, 2004 4:29pm
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Marysz, as a parent, how do you deal with these issues? (Or have they even come up yet?)

This post was modified by ridetheory on 2004-08-02 23:29:03

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Marysz Date: Aug 3, 2004 9:46am
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Thanks for the compliment, Cashel! As for what I do, I think we parents have to resign ourselves to the fact that our kids are going to be exposed to a barrage of unacceptable images and ideas. All we can do is talk it over with them, so that they feel their feelings are acknowleged. If only the world were more like a Coronet film—full of caring parents and teachers and loads of wholesome activities for kids.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: glenn Date: Aug 2, 2004 11:24am
Forum: movie_of_the_week Subject: Re: Why defend mind-less SMUT??

Very worthwhile post.

patricularly
QUOTE "The degree to which content was expected to carry production values (or the lack there of). Note that in the film in question, the simple act of a supposedly inadvertent exposure of the female breast was expected to carry the film, and the audience had little of no expectation of any additional entertainment value for the price of attending the film. "
END QUOTE

In much the same way, special effects, explosions, and chase scenes are expected to 'carry' some modern films.

One or more of today's leading television shows consist primarily of not-particularly-good-looking people exposing themselves to the audience and shouting obscenities at each other -all of which is censored and never seen or heard by the viewer- while bemused security stagehands gently attempt to keep them from injuring themselves or others.

Apparently no further entertainment is expected by the audience than the fact that there is violence and obscenity on the show, regardless of the fact that the viewing audience never sees or hears it.

Perhaps future historians will be amused at how easily we were 'entertained' in the Twentieth Century.

This post was modified by glenn on 2004-08-02 18:24:38

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)